March 24, 2019

Hawaii 2014 Days 5 - 8

This is where I'll stop the recreated vacation of 2014. We did amazing things on our last days, but mainly I took photos of architecture. You may not be as into that as I am ("and here's a building, and here's another building set against the sky, and rectangles I liked..."). We did do other stuff.
We bought laulau and took it to the North Shore to get our sand on.
We ate at the place near the convention center that specializes in green noodles. They stashed us in the back so the locals wouldn't see us, which is either a score or a diss, depending on your mind set.

We got up close and personal with the beautiful Barbara Hepworth sculptures in one of the parks. It was nice to be able to slow down and enjoy public art.

We saw Kupaoa play for free and we met Lihau's parents. We got to tell them how appreciative we are of her and Kellen, who was our olelo teacher.

And we finally went into the IBM Building, that Ossipof masterpiece, and saw the scale models of the plans for Kaka'ako.

Finally it was time to go home. We took the long way home (via Maui) and used our layover to have lunch with friends. All in all a great trip. I may post my photos elsewhere.

Hawaii 2014 Day 4

We started the day at the Koko Head Cafe in Kaimuki. The Eggs Haloa is a "hold the phone" sort of meal. Poi biscuit, coconut luau underneath the egg and local greens. So delicious.
We parked in the lot nearby and had to feed the meter so we went back before shopping at Goodwill, which allowed us to have an interesting conversation with a guy who wanted to know if we were the owners of the tv on the curb in front of our rental car and then started telling us how he could pick it up (small man, large tv) and sprint to the next corner. That whole situation was worth the quarters we were plugging into the meter.

I have many things written in my notes, and I am filling in the gaps 5 years later, so here are the notes: Jelly's (record shopping), Pho 1 (must've been lunch), Ward Center, Antiques Alley (was this the time that the owner gave me a POG cap depicting Konishiki as Ozeki?).
What I really recall from this day, however, was going to Haili's to pass the time while we waited for Corner Kitchen to open. First off, the architecture and views on Kapahulu down there are really something to be appreciated while they still exist. Many of the buildings are from the 30's and 40's, and they're low enough that you can see Diamond Head. It's looked like this for years and won't always be this way. It's such a pleasure. Also at Haili's we learned that on Friday the poi is sour. Good to know.
Where the buildings aren't from the mid-20th century, they are often from the 60's. And even in little ways there are pay offs on ordinary buildings.

None of my photos from Corner Kitchen were worth using. I was glad that we made it there because it, also, was a specific place and moment in recent Hawaiian music. Waipuna and Kupaoa and other folks we've seen played there a lot while Corner Kitchen was still operating. When we got there, wouldn't you know, Uncle Herman (real name) from our crowd of older Hawaiian friends back home was there. I hope Uncle Herman is still there, somewhere in Hawaii, teaching feather lei making and waiting out our cold winters back home.

Hawaii 2014, Day 3

Today's destination was Hawaii's Plantation Village, in Waipahu. A friend is scouting locations for a film, and we've never been there, so we decided to head out and see what we could see.

But first, breakfast. While mrguy was asleep I looked at the Star Advertiser online (I subscribe, so this is a pretty normal thing). There was a good looking review of Goofy Cafe, which happens to be directly across the street from where we're staying, so we crossed Ala Moana and had breakfast. I don't know who thought up their food, but it's hilarious. Your eggs benedict (unhealthy) comes with a side of sauteed kale (healthy). We settled for an acai bowl, which was a thick iced smoothie topped with granola and fresh fruit. So weird.

There we were, talking about the Ukulele Festival and eating our weird breakfast, when mrguy looked at his phone. Someone from the 209 had called an hour before. He called back and WE'RE IN! Our slot is at 2:15, which we think of as prime time. Readers of mrsguy will recall that when we played the first time, it was right after the Pledge of Allegiance. Nobody saw us except the stalwarts, like auntie spunky.

The tour was super interesting, although I was the annoying lady taking pictures of everything. Afterward we had a little lunch in town and made a visit to Savers. I scored some new socks with a sushi pattern and two dresses. Thrift shopping in Hawaii is heaven. There is always a muumuu section. So good.
Then to the Aiea Jelly's. Mrguy thinks it's brave last days for Jelly's. I am extra appreciative that there is still a place where I can spend an hour looking for records with new Hawaiian songs that I can bring back to the band. The smell of old cardboard. The action of flipping through the selections. I'll miss this when it no longer exists.

Dinner was at Real, a Gastropub, which is in the market side of Ward Center. The beer selection is phenomenal, and they know their way around a brussels sprout. We sat at this weird table near the stage and watched the Food Network. A pipe overhead kept dripping on our table. They were playing funny Metal music and though it was deafening, it did not bother me.

We still haven't had any real Hawaiian music and so we went to the Hawaiian Village and caught a few sets by this cute band. Still not Hawaiian, but at least live music?

Thursday, Waipuna.

Hawaii 2014, Day 2

We slept for 12 hours. Mrguy is breaking out in hives, which he says is a good sign that his stressful few months are exiting via his pores.

We met our friend, the farmer's daughter, for lunch. What a sweet hour. I miss her so. We're conspiring to take a vacation together, because her husband can't leave his business. Who knows? Perhaps she'll join us for the European trip, since her tastes and mrguy's have so much overlap.

We visited the Honolulu Museum of Art, which was very relaxing. The garden in the center of the museum is one of my favorite places. So restful.

We'd never been very far into the Michener galleries. I loved the description of how woodblock prints are made. Wait! They used an Okiie Hashimoto print as an example. They have an Okiee Hashimoto hand carved wood block in their collection. How badly I want to see it.

We tooled around town and took pictures of the Queen Emma building, documenting its further decay. They say that they want to make a dorm out of it, but they keep chipping away at the building, experimenting in ways that tell me that this building will be coming down soon.


Then off to Jelly's. I bought so many things. One record has a new song for our band's transportation set. The others have at least one cool song I want to pursue playing. And then there's the record I bought just for its cover, but it turns out to be some sleazy listening music at its finest. Ahhh.

On the way out of Jelly's, mrguy got a shout out from a lady in a car passing by. He was wearing his Cook Islands hand-printed shirt. Very happy boy.

Then off to Kaka'ako Kitchen, which ms scandiwaiian turned us onto so many years ago. Their tofu burger is so bizarre and satisfying. I crave it on the mainland. Still don't know what's in it. The pigeons were still a thing. Bought some tourist duds at Ward Center, on our way out of the mall.

We hit the Chart House for happy hour. It had been recommended to us by that nice family we met on our last trip, and on that trip it was a zoo. Because it's raining, perhaps, it was so chill. A beautiful sunset with a guy tai and a man, in silhouette, climbing up his mast. Kinda picturesque. A perfectly relaxing way to end the day.

Hawaii 2014, Day 1

While organizing photos recently I realized that I had half-written a blog for a trip to Hawaii in 2014. Not wanting to waste it, and missing Hawaii, I am reconstructing the blog for that trip.

The ride over was uneventful, except for the guy behind me, who hadn't been on a plane in awhile. He sneezed and snored and snapped his fingers in time with his music. When his big toe would gently poke my rump through my seat back, I'd grab it through the cushions and move it aside. Then he brought down his tray table and shuffled a deck of cards for about 5 minutes. Ffffffft! Clack clack clack.

Somehow that stuff, which would usually infuriate me, didn't really bug me. The miracle of vacation.

It's our first trip to Hawaii in two years. It's raining like crazy. I don't really care that it's grey and rainy. We're having a drought at home and it's nice to at least visit the rain.

We visited the La Mariana Sailing Club for lunch. The menu has changed. I was looking forward to my retro shrimp Louie salad – pink cold shrimpy fingers on a 1000 Island Iceburg wedge. Instead I had a sandwich with sprouts. Miss the Louie, but perhaps it was for the best.

After a nap, Chiba-ken. Very loud, but just right.

I love you, Honolulu.

March 23, 2019

Sometimes I Buy Ridiculous Things

I bought a silver egg coddler at an auction. It did not disappoint.

Then I put my decorated eggs from Bautzen into the egg cups, thereby making it even more ridiculous-looking.

Very nice.

Pittosporum Tenuifolium

Pittosporums can be magnificent. Some varieties smell so deeply of orange blossoms that you can smell them hundreds of feet away. And then there's Pittosporum Tenuifolium. In the summer it smells like sun-baked sidewalk urine. Why do people use it as a hedge? Why?

This year I'm working on my hate abatement, because life's too short. And while passing by a bush after a nice rain, I found something to like about this otherwise revolting shrubbery. It turns out that it has a beautiful purple-black flower. I'm kind of obsessed.

The Healing Power of Cat Photos

The mama is pretty deaf, and she calls me up at work sometimes when she's confused. Yesterday's topic was the calendar. Mom and I are going to a memorial on Monday and she wanted to know the plan. I had already told her the plan several times on the night before.

It's almost not worth telling her anything in advance. She can't remember certain kinds of things for more than a second or two, and can't interpret a calendar without help. And sometimes when we're on the phone she asks me to yell into the phone because she can't hear me. When I don't respond quickly with a yelled response she gets frustrated.

Yesterday this kind of conversation was happening while I was at work. "Can you see the calendar from where you're sitting? "I'll have to turn my head" "OK, turn your head so you can see the calendar," etc. Thankfully I have an enclosed office, but when I have to yell into the phone (at her request) a clarifying word or two. It's mortifying, because it makes it seem like I'm exasperated and yelling at my mom, not to my mom. Even when I'm exasperated I don't yell. And if I *did* yell I would definitely take the occasion to yell something tasty, not just "MONDAAAAAAAY"!

Sometimes when I have a hard conversation with the mama I need to look at cat pictures.

Here you go.

March 17, 2019

Question Mark and the Mysterians

Oh great mysteries of life. First, on this St. Patrick's Day I wonder if I will get my citizenship. The folks on the citizenship complainer board wonder, as well. I had my fixer check in with the office in Dublin, and the citizenship office responded thus: "Unfortunately, it is not possible at present to give you an indication of the timescale in which your application will be processed." Oh well.

Second mystery is truly weird. I was referred to a potential client for some possible consulting. I went to a location to hear more information. And none was really provided, even under an nda. What do you say to people who want to know if you can do the thing that they won't really describe to you? I wanted to help them but I simply wished them the very best, that's what. 

March 9, 2019

Live Better Electrically

For 11 years I have obsessed over a photo I took of the decorative cement brick facade of a local apartment house. The photo I took of the cement brick had a medallion in it. I wish I'd taken a closeup of the medallion. This, my friends, is what happens when you have too much time on your hands.

I knew that I'd taken the photo in the neighborhood of our car dealership, where I had an upcoming service appointment, so a few weeks back I used Google Street View to find the building. Took all of five minutes. After my service appointment I did a driveby and took better photos of the brick and the medallion. The brick is, as always, gorgeous.

I fully expected the medallion to refer to something about the external architecture, but it turns out that it's related to a post-war effort to use cleaner power in buildings. This was a Medallion Home, whose slogan at the time was "Live Better Electrically".

For more information, there is an entire website devoted to it.


King For A Day

I broke a daruma last month but this week I was invited by a friend to take a slice of King Cake, and I got the baby. 
Maybe that offsets the daruma. Actually what bothers me about the breaking the figure is that the shop keeper would not let me pay for it, and I felt awful about having deprived him of that income. He said "It was an accident. It cannot be helped," This is an expression in Japan that covers a lot of annoyances. At the moment I am not feeling as if I am at my most graceful or sharp.

But from the 3:30pm to midnight on Mardi Gras, I was king for a day.

I'll take it.

My Burrito

Two weeks ago I went to see three hours of films about the Japanese internment. It's an event put on by a local newspaper, and a subject I think is important, so I go. It's really interesting to see different kinds of films, narrative, documentary, animated, all about the same subject.

I'm just a curious outsider at the festival. I talk to fellow movie-goers and they're all connected in one way or another. The minister who confides that she's actually Filipino but serves a Japanese-American congregation. The man who was the subject of one of the films. The students in the local university Ethnic Studies department. Their professors, who told them they'd get credit if they showed up. The filmmakers, professors, the volunteers, and me, it seems.

The festival falls over lunchtime and there isn't really time to eat, so I bought a burrito the day before at my favorite taco truck to bring with me. The owner told me that the woman who worked for him all those years just moved away, so I have a new lady to get to know.

The plum trees were in bloom. We used to have a plum tree in our back yard growing up. Now waiting in line for my burrito in the industrial neighborhood next to the power station is the one place I can guarantee a view of one of my favorite flowers up close.

Back at work, the ceanothus has been blooming.

Before the film festival began I had time to buy a new pair of tabi boots. I broke a daruma (a good luck doll) while reaching for my credit card.

March 2, 2019

Fred Flintstone

I guess I'd file this under "Favorite Things". 

This is the Fred Flintstone bank that I found at Thrift Town when we lived in the city. It confirmed my methodology of always looking high and low while shopping there. Fred was on a high shelf.

When we moved to the old place and seriously started saving money, I'd put all of my change in him. We were soooo poor that I'd give mrguy a hard time whenever he bought something that I thought he didn't need, like a mango. "Put the mango dollar in Fred" is still code around here for "don't spend that money you're about to spend". Those words are spoken less frequently now, but I still feel like if I need to I can go back to being that person.

Now Fred lives on the floor in the office and holds the closet doors closed so that the cats can't rampage in our belongings. He still eats my change.

Good Fred.

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